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Aquarium a monument to post-Katrina recovery $98 million attraction to open Aug. 29

By JACK WEATHERLY Fifteen years to the day after Hurricane Katrina made landfall and destroyed most of the infrastructure along the coast of Mississippi, a new structure will open, celebrating the recovery of the area. The $98 million Mississippi Aquarium will open in Gulfport. Though located on the coast, the public-private facility will tell the story of Mississippi’s aquatic resources ...

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Lyric Hotel opening pushed back a month

By JACK WEATHERLY The opening date for the Lyric Hotel in Cleveland has been pushed back a month. The luxury hotel had been scheduled to open on Tuesday, Aug. 4, as the hub of the 17-acre West End District. It will start having a “soft rolling opening” starting Aug. 14, but “we’re not going to have an opening to the ...

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Fondren Homewood Suites opens for business

By JACK WEATHERLY Homewood Suites was open for business Monday morning. Fifteen of the 125 guestrooms were booked for the first day, but check-in time was not to start till 3 p.m. The six-story Hilton brand property, built by Ridgeland-based Wealth Hospitality, was the first of several hotels that had been announced in recent years for the Fondren district in ...

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Call of water, road fueling sales of boats and RV’s

By JACK WEATHERLY It’s too much of a good thing in a bad situation. Sales of recreational vehicles and boats have hit records across the nation and Mississippi. That came after the first coronavirus lockdown and then the lifting of it. People had been isolated in their homes and naturally wanted to get free. Nothing like taking a camper or ...

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Patels unveil $40 million mixed-use project across from their new Fondren hotel

By JACK WEATHERLY It’s as if Chico Patel were trying to upstage himself. Patel, co-founder of the Wealth Hospitality Group, formerly Heritage Hospitality Group, revealed a plan this week for Fondren Landing, a $40 million to $42 million condominium/apartment and retail project. In the same conversation, Patel said the Homewood Suites hotel will open July 27. The 125-room hotel is ...

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Nowlin joins Fairview Inn as Events Manager

Stephanie Nowlin has joined the Fairview Inn team as the new events manager. Previously, she served as the Catering Sales Manager at La Brioche in Fondren, where she managed all corporate and social events. Stephanie also has marketing experience through her time at Medicomp Physical Therapy and Capital Orthopaedic. Nowlin lives in Brandon with her husband, Damon, and is a ...

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State tourism, CVBs respond to pandemic

By LYNN LOFTON Tourism is a major economic factor in Mississippi.  So, how in the age of COVID-19 are convention and visitors bureaus around the state faring? Tupelo, Ridgeland, Jackson and the Gulf Coast are among the state’s CVBs that are back in business while following CDC guidelines. “Tupelo’s tourism industry has been significantly impacted by COVID-19 and we continue ...

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Lyric Hotel to open in Cleveland on Aug. 4

By JACK WEATHERLY The Lyric Hotel in the West End District in Cleveland will open on Aug. 4, developer and owner Dinesh Chawla said in a release issued late Sunday. The opening had been pegged to July 27, but “we cannot compete with the generous offer by the federal government of $600 a week on top of regular unemployment. That ...

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JACK WEATHERLY — Trouble in Paradise, but 30A smooths the bumps

Driving from Jackson, we pass through Bankhead Tunnel beneath the Mobile Bay, with the U.S.S. Alabama and its World War II guns standing guard above us. We’ve been on the road several hours and have noticed a vague color on the mid-day horizon. We keep an eye out for a coronavirus checkpoint soon after we enter Florida via Interstate 10. ...

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MMI, LRC2 offer update on Memphis hotel

By JACK WEATHERLY   Two Mississippi hotel firms have offered an update on their project in Memphis, a seven-story, 106-room project in Overton Square. The last steel has been put in place as a “topping out.” A ground-floor restaurant, the Complicated Pilgrim, and a rooftop bar, the Tiger and the Peacock, will be included, according to the firms, MMI Hotel ...

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